DROGBA: HOME HELP

Posted on: Thu 29 Mar 2012

Didier Drogba hailed Blues supporters for the atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge which inspired the team to a 4-1 victory against Napoli after extra-time, securing our place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Overturning a 3-1 deficit from the first leg against the expansive Italian outfit was always going to be an ominous task, but the Ivorian, who scored the first of our goals with a wonderful diving header, ranked the occasion right up there with the all-time most memorable European nights in west London.

'It was a great night, we were really disappointed because of the first leg,' he said. 'We had control of the game, we could have scored again at 1-1 but we put ourselves in big difficulties conceding three goals away from home, we knew it would be a tough game tonight because Napoli are a fantastic team.

'The atmosphere in the stadium was amazing, it made a big difference, we've had some great nights here, but this was one of the best, the semi-final against Liverpool and the Barcelona games were great, but this was fantastic as well.'

The senior players at the club have come under fire from the media in recent weeks, with widespread reports suggesting they were largely to blame for the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas.

However, Drogba, along with John Terry and Frank Lampard all scored, and answered their critics in emphatic style with a show of character, hunger and desire that would enhance any team in the world.

'When we don't perform, people say the senior players are not good enough and need to go, and when we do perform they say we run the club, none of this is true,' Drogba argued. 'We are Chelsea players, nobody here is bigger than the club, all we do is give our best for Chelsea, the fans and the owner.

'It was a big test to see if we were able to come back from a 3-1 defeat away and win this game. We scored the two goals we wanted to score but then they scored a great goal as well and the pressure started to grow.

'This is when the game is really exciting, when there's a lot of passion and excitement, I think that's why we all enjoyed playing the game.'

Amid the euphoric scenes which greeted the sound of the full-time whistle, interim first team coach Roberto Di Matteo struggled to contain his emotions, racing on to the pitch and embracing Drogba as the rest of the players celebrated wildly.

But while the striker was caught unaware by the Italian, almost falling to the floor unexpectedly, he was delighted for the man in charge, who has now recorded three straight wins since taking over.

'I couldn't breathe, but it was nice, it's a nice feeling because we have good communication,' he said. 'All we want to do is help the club to be in a better position in the league and everywhere else. We are together, like always, and it's nice.'

David Luiz, meanwhile, who enjoyed one of his most impressive displays in a Chelsea shirt, paid tribute to a fellow countryman, while insisting it's now time to look forward.

The Brazilian made a number of timely interceptions as Napoli poured forward in the latter stages of the game, and even needed Michael Essien to fill in for him at centre-back in the closing minutes as he could barely walk, but he was simply delighted to be in the hat for the next round.

'The team knew the objectives for tonight, we needed to win and score. Tonight I'm very happy, we scored four goals and now we can prepare for the next round,' said the 24-year-old.

'I love playing for Chelsea and I love the fans. Of course, sometimes I am sad because we're not winning but football is now thinking about the next game. The Napoli match is now in the past and it's important to look to the future.

'Ramires is unbelievable, he's a fantastic player, you saw how much he was running and I'm happy because he plays for my team. In the last 20 minutes it was impossible to walk and he was still running box-to-box, but that's Ramires.'

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